Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this on a scroll as a reminder and recite it to Joshua, because I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven."
1. THE ATTACK BY AMALEK. It was cowardly, malicious, merciless (cf. Deuteronomy 25:17; 1 Samuel 15:2); not open, straightforward enmity; cutting off the feeble and the stragglers; a vulture-like hostility; a type and sample of diabolical hatred. Notice the parallel between Israel's position with regard to Amalek and our position with regard to Satan and his emissaries.
1. Israel was. passing through the wilderness. So God's people are passing through this world (Hebrews 11:14). The country through which the route lies is not claimed by those who use it.
2. Amalek considered the wilderness as their own. So Satan claims to be the prince of this world. In either case the authority is usurped.
3. Amalek took Israel at a disadvantage. No cause of enmity assigned, only apparently the right assumed for the stronger to prey upon the weaker. Satan, too, always endeavours to take us at a disadvantage. He did not attack Christ until "he was an hungered;" he attacks us, also, when we are weakest.
II. THE DEFENCE AND CONFLICT. -
1. A chosen captain. Joshua - "Jehovah is hell)." Perhaps name changed from Hoshea at this time; shows, at any rate, whence the leader derived his ability to lead. Our captain, "manifested to destroy the works of the devil." Had it not been for Satan's enmity, how should we have known the power of Christ?
2. Selected soldiers. Not all the people, but chosen from the people. All share the danger, but the defence may best be undertaken by a few, though, no doubt, these few are supported and encouraged by the general sympathy. In the war with Satan the brunt of the battle must fall on the selected soldiers - Christ chose apostles, and in every age the majority has been protected by representative champions. Satan must make more headway than he does, were it not that the weaker and more ignorant are sheltered from direct attack behind the bulwarks raised by the stronger and the wiser.
3. An uplifted banner. Usually the colours go before the army; here the banner - God's rod - is upheld upon the mountain -
(1) in full sight of all;
(2) in a position of comparative security. Notice -
1. This banner was a sign of God's helpful presence.
2. It was in full view of the fighters, and the fortune of the battle varied according as it was raised or lowered. Two things were necessary to ensure victory
(1) that the banner should be held up;
(2) that the fighters should keep looking at it. In the fight with Satan the same principle applies. God's law, God's righteous purpose, must be upheld by the Prophet, supported on one hand by the priest, on the other by the noble; but, further, the fighters must keep it well in view, nothing less than the assurance of its fixedness can nerve them so as to ensure victory.
III. THE MEMORIAL.
1. A book. This victory a pledge of Amalek's final exter- ruination.
2. An altar. "Jehovah our Banner," sign of a continuous war to be ended only with the fulfilment of God's purpose. In the fight with Satan our Lord's victory in the wilderness and on the cross, a pledge of final victory for all.
1. It is written in a book. Who has not read of it?
2. It is commemorated by a memorial, which all may see. "This do as a memorial of me." So long as there is evil in the world, so long there must be war. God's soldiers must fight from generation to generation until the final victory be achieved. What is the secret of their strength? The banner uplifted upon the mountain. The rod of God. "It is written." The prophet uprears it. Priest and noble, in so far as they fulfil their office, unite to support the prophet. The fighters h,ok up to the banner, and, encouraged by its steadfast maintenance, fight on till victory be secured. - G.
I. It is probable that from this time MOSES BEGAN TO KEEP A JOURNAL OF STRIKING AND USEFUL OCCURRENCES. Great men have frequently done the same for intellectual, and good men for religious, purposes.
I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek.1. Jehovah's victories over His Church's enemies He giveth in charge to be recorded.
2. Writing and tradition are both God's ways of recording His works for future ages.
3. God's book is the best record of His mighty works done for His Church.
4. A memorial would God have kept by the records of God's works to men.
5. God hath irreconcilable displeasure against some enemies above the rest.
6. Blotting out of the names of such enemies will God make, who would blot out the name of His Church.
(G. Hughes, B. D.)
II. Whatever may be said of the particular mode, THE THING ITSELF IS OF IMPORTANCE. If we are to be affected with transactions and feelings, they must be in some way secured and retained.
III. A reason is assigned for the recording and rehearsing of this transaction in A DREADFUL MENACE. The threatening was executed partially by Saul; but fully by David.
IV. THE SCRIPTURES CANNOT BE BROKEN. Whatever improbabilities appear — whatever difficulties stand in the way — whatever delays intervene — God's counsels of old are faithfulness and truth; not a lot of His Word shall fail.
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